Wednesday, October 27, 2021

US Democrats divided on key legislation

Prominent US Democratic lawmakers on Sunday remained on track to approve both infrastructure improvements in the country and the biggest social safety net expansion in five decades, but the leading progressive signaled there was room for compromise.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has for months pushed for a $3.5 trillion plan for climate control measures, universal pre-kindergarten classes, expanded health care for older Americans and more. Sanders is an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

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“I accept that there will be give and take,” he said on ABC’s “This Week” show.

He declined to impose a price tag taken by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of the western state of Washington, another prominent advocate for social safety net legislation, in an interview on CNN’s “State of the CNN.” Show union”.

FILE – Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill, October 1, 2021.

“There are no numbers on the table yet … everyone has agreed,” Jayapal said, but added that the $1.5 trillion proposed by centrist Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia “is too small to achieve our priorities.” ”

President Joe Biden, in a rare visit to the Capitol Friday to meet with Democratic members of the House of Representatives, suggested that the final cost for the Social Security net measure be trimmed between $1.9 trillion and $2.3 trillion, in addition to the trillions May go. -dollar infrastructure legislation to repair the nation’s deteriorating roads and bridges and expand broadband Internet service across the United States.

President Joe Biden arrives with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to meet with Democratic lawmakers at the US Capitol to promote their bipartisan infrastructure bill on Capitol Hill on October 1, 2021 in Washington.

President Joe Biden arrives with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to meet with Democratic lawmakers at the US Capitol to promote their bipartisan infrastructure bill on Capitol Hill on October 1, 2021 in Washington.

The US leader has continued to advocate for the passing of the two laws in tandem.

Sanders said, “Poll by poll shows that what we’re doing is exactly what the American people want. It’s not what the big money interests want, it’s not what the lobbyists want. Americans.” This is what people want and we have to do it.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democratic-controlled House, twice last week postponed a vote on a road and bridge infrastructure measure. The move came after several dozen progressive lawmakers threatened to vote against it unless they were assured that Senate Democrats would also approve Social Security net spending. Pelosi has now set an October 31 deadline for completing both measures.

Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., speaks during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 9, 2021.

Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., speaks during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 9, 2021.

In a politically divided Senate, with 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats, two moderate Democrats, Manchin of Arizona and Senator Kirsten Cinema, have pushed for a $3.5 trillion price tag for Social Security expansion that is the highest in the US since 1960. will be big. .

On Saturday, Sinema attacked the Democratic congressional leadership for delaying last week’s infrastructure vote, calling the decision “unforgivable” and “deeply disappointing”.

Cinema said, “Democratic leaders have made conflicting promises that cannot be fulfilled – and have at times pretended that differences did not exist within our party, even when those dissent were directly and publicly – repeatedly. The times have been clarified.”

Both he and Munchkin have held several negotiating sessions with Biden and Democratic congressional leaders to try to iron out differences over the legislation, but have yet to reach an agreement. Both have said they do not support the $3.5 trillion in spending Biden originally proposed and support progressive Democrats facing a unified Republican opposition.

“I’m listening to Sen. Joe Manchin and Kirsten Sinema every day about where we can get to the finish line,” Illinois Senator Dick Durbin told CNN.

Sanders remained optimistic about the eventual passage of both pieces of legislation.

“We’re going to win this,” he told ABC.

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